Known as the “Spiritual Capital” of Andhra Pradesh, the city of Tirupati is famous and popular among the people for the Tirupati Balaji Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, another form of Lord Vishnu, and is believed to be the place where the Lord turned into an idol and stayed there forever. Hence the Tirupati temple is highly revered and is an important place of pilgrimage for the Hindus. The city of Tirupati is an ancient city and has been mentioned in the religious books of Vedas and Puranas.
Address: S Mada St, Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517504, India
Opening hours: 18 hours every day for Sarvadarshanam and 20 hours during peak days
Deity: Lord Venkateswara (Vishnu)
Festival celebrated: Brahmotsavam
The popular Tirupati Mandir is situated on top of the Tirumala Hills in the district of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. Abode of Lord Balaji, also referred to as Govinda or Venkateshwara, the Tirupati Temple is the place where Lord Vishnu is believed to have appeared to take away all of mankind’s Vaikuntam and the presiding deity Lord Venkateshwara is referred to as the Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam. The Tirupati Temple is also known as the “Temple of Seven Hills” as it is situated on the seventh peak of the seven Hills in the Seshachalam Hills range known as Venkatdri.
The construction of the Tirupati Balaji Temple started in 300 AD with contributions from numerous rulers. However in the 18th century, Raghoji I Bhosale, the Maratha General planned out a ruling body who would look after and carry out the daily proceedings of the temple; this leads to the development of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam in 1933, a Trust which manages and maintains the Tirupati Mandir and many other temples in the area.
Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the Tirupati Temple has a Garbhagriha, also known as the Ananda Nilayam, where Lord Venkateshwara is in the standing posture and facing east. One among the eight Vishnu Swayambhi Kshetras and is said to be the last Vaishnava Divya Desham (one of the 108 Vishnu Shrines which have been mentioned in the works of the Alvars.
Every year Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam receives millions of devotees from India and abroad and to make their pilgrimage a comfortable one. The temple management has come up with free accommodation halls, numerous lodges with affordable rooms on rent, free meals around the clock, hair tonsuring outlets, and queue complex with volunteers to facilitate easy flow of pilgrims for the Lord Venkateswara Tirupati darshan. There are also free bus services for the devotees within the TTD premises.
Tirupati Darshan Booking
Owing to the rush of pilgrims every day for Tirupati darshan, the temple management has come up with an official portal tirumala.org through which devotees from anywhere in the world can make the Tirupati Darshan booking online.
The official website can be used to book the Special Entry Tirupati Darshan ticket, also known as the Seeghra Darshanam, through which devotees can enter the temple through a special queue and get a darshan of the lord quickly. The special entry Tirupati Darshan ticket comes for Rs. 300/pilgrim with a free laddu prasadam.
Apart from the Tirupati Darshan booking, devotees can book accommodations at any of the choultries within the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam premises. Other than these, devotees can also book sevas, marriage halls and also buy prasadam.
Dos and Don'ts within the Temple Premises
Listed below are some rules that devotees should follow while visiting the Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati-Tirumala Hills.
- Take a dip at the Swami Pushkarini Tank and pay a darshan to Sri Bhu Varaha Swamy at his temple before Lord Venkateshwara.
- Take a bath and wear clean clothes before entering the temple sanctum.
- Both men and women have to wear Indian attire during the time of darshan.
- No eating non-vegetarian food or alcohol while you are in the Tirumala Hills.
- Avoid wearing any type of headgear like a helmet, turban, hat, or a cap inside the temple premises.
- Do not prostrate or do the sashtang dandavat pranam inside the temple.
- Throwing away the prasadam given to you in the temple is regarded as a sin and disrespect to Lord Venkateswara.
- Tonsuring of hair should be done before the darshan.
- Book accommodation and special darshan entry in advance.
There are numerous bus services from a few major towns and cities to Tirupati through redBus. Other than the Tirupati bus stand, there are several other boarding and drop off points all over the city. To get to the Tirumala Hills, devotees should alight at the Tirupati bus stand since there are buses to the temple at frequent intervals.
To avail heavy discounts on package tours and online bus tickets, visit www.redbus.in and have a hassle-free spiritual journey to the holy town of Tirupati-Tirumala Hills.